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    SGF warns on illicit trade after disposable vape, tobacco ban

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    The Scottish Grocers’ Federation (SGF) has called on the Scottish Government to set out a clear plan to tackle the surge in illicit trade that is expected to hit highstreets, following a ban of single-use vapes.

    The trade association for Scottish convenience stores also warned that a ban will make it more difficult for people, who wish to quit smoking, to access alternative nicotine products. Potentially encouraging some people to revert to smoking tobacco.

    SGF’s Healthier Choices, Healthier Community campaign set out a range of measures to work with government on tackling youth vaping, and protect the environment, without the need for banning this important cessation aid.

    SGF warns on illicit trade after disposable vape, tobacco ban
    SGF CEO Dr Pete Cheema OBE

    “NHS England has made it clear that Nicotine Vaping Products are one of the most successful cessation aids available,” said SGF CEO Dr Pete Cheema OBE. “At the moment, they are legally accessible and affordable for adults who wish to quit smoking, but that won’t be the case after 1st April next year.

    “SGF wants to see tighter regulation of these products. They should not be targeted at younger people and should only be sold by legitimate traders who take their responsibilities seriously. Those found in breach of the rules should feel the full force of the law.

    “However, there is already a significant illicit market for disposable vapes in the UK. Including potentially unsafe products. That will only get worse after a ban.

    “The Scottish Government, and the UK Government, need to be clear about how they intend to tackle these problems, which are undoubtedly now on the horizon.

    “The draft regulations do not make it clear how they intend to solve the problem of increasing illicit trade, and that needs to be a priority. Likewise, it is critical that they do not over-regulate flavouring, which is proven to be the key driver for smokers switching, if they wish to.”

    This morning, the Scottish Government announced plans to ban the sale of disposable vapes in Scotland, to be implemented from 1st April 2025. This will form part of a UK wide ban on the product that will likely come into force across the UK on a similar timetable.

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